BL Premium reports that the government and the business rescue practitioners (BRPs) of SA Airways (SAA) have reached a formal agreement to discuss proposals that include the establishment of a new airline as mooted by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan.
They agreed there should be “optimal saving of jobs” in the business rescue process. The agreement, which marks a truce after weeks of escalating tension over the future of the airline, commits the BRPs to halting any planned asset sales while an alternative plan is under discussion.
According to a memorandum of understanding concluded last week, the two parties agreed that the department would have until 30 June “to formulate proposals to be included in the business rescue plan.” Moreover, during this time “there will be no sales of assets nor negotiations in this regard without consultation with and involvement of the department.”
The agreement commits both parties to “actively co-operate in the development of a business rescue plan for SAA. The objective of the business rescue process is to have a restructured, efficient and sustainable airline whether in the form of a restructured airline or a NewCo with no reliance on the fiscus.”
NewCo is the interim name given to a new airline, which Gordhan has suggested be formed while the liabilities of SAA are ring-fenced in an “OldCo” or SAA.